Rubybox, the innovative, try-before-you-buy beauty subscription startup, announced that it has received funding from venture capitalist Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, for an undisclosed sum.
As part of the investment, rubybox is acquiring GlamBox SA, its major current competitor in the local beauty box market, making rubybox the dominant player in South Africa. “We are thrilled about the investment as we’re certain it, together with our 360 degree approach that pairs trial and education which leads to re-purchase, will help us grow rubybox to be the leading content-driven eCommerce beauty site in South Africa,” says Sylvia Gruber, rubybox co-founder and CEO.
The cosmetic and beauty product market in South Africa is quite large, with 500 products launched annually. Rubybox is a welcome conduit for beauty product companies who promote and research their products by providing samples to rubybox subscribers.
“Rubybox is both a pioneer and a leader in subscription eCommerce in South Africa,” says Sol Bezuidenhout, Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa. “From the strong partnerships they’ve formed with the world’s greatest cosmetic brands to their thousands of dedicated subscribers, we believe rubybox has infinite opportunities for continued growth, and we look forward to playing a role in their success, and the success of their partners.”
Rubybox was launched in September 2011 by Gruber (pictured on the left) and co-founder Margaux Knuppe. Gruber has a Master’s in business and has worked at L’Oréal and P&G in Europe, while Knuppe is the ex-beauty editor of one of South Africa’s most popular fashion and beauty magazines.
The company has partnered with more than 50 international and local beauty brands such as L’Oréal group, African Sales Company and Elizabeth Arden. Going forward their focus is to grow their eCommerce offering through a targeted beauty profile shopping facility and alongside their business-to-business offering which builds reach and relationship with beauty consumers for their brand partners.